We had breakfast in our airbnb in Thee Rivers, drove for about 1.5 hour to start our visit to Sequoia National park around 10:30am, stopping first at the visitor center to clarify which trails we were going to do: the easiest one appear to be the General Sherman tree, Moro Rock and Giant Forrest Museum.
There is no shuttle bus anymore, so we did everything by car, beside the trails.
Stop 1: Tunnel Rock
Stop 2: Lodgepole to buy cheese, bread and turkey and prepare some sandwiches for our lunch
Stop 3: General Sherman Tree. To see this tree you have to walk down 700m from the general parking and then up to go back (that’s the hard part that maybe not everybody can do it although the trail is paved). Nevertheless, the park offers a disabled parking that is close to the tree.
General Sherman Tree fame as the biggest tree in the world comes from the volume of its trunk. A few other tree trunks are bigger around. Some trees are taller. But no other tree has more wood in its trunk that the Sherman Tree. Also, the tree’s top is dead, so the tree’s trunk no longer gets taller. However, its volume keeps increasing. Each year the trunk grows wider, adding enough wood to equal another good-sized tree.
In the same are as the Sherman tree, we saw a huge fallen sequoia, and wanted to know what brings these trees down? so I read that ironically, a tree’s own size can contribute to its downfall. It the tree starts to become unbalanced, its weight quickly becomes more than its shallow roots can support. Also, sequoias may lose their balance for: road building, underground pipes or soil fungi that can damage the roots. If soil moisture increases, the ground may soften too much to hold the tree. Heavy snows or high winds can cause the tree to lean. Large fire scars at the base of the trunk may leave trees less to stand on.
We had our picnic lunch very close to the Sherman tree before going back up.
At 13:30 we were heading to our next stop:
Stop 4: Tunnel Log. This sequoia fell on December 4th, 1937 (base diameter 21ft, length 275ft). It was increadible to see all the cars passing inside this tunnel (including us). We were able to park just by the tunnel, walk around and take lots of pictures, but apparently in high season the traffic gets awful in this tunnel.
Then we did the crescent meadow trail, of around 3km and almost 1 hour. I noticed that not all the trails are very well indicated, in this case we thought the trail was a loop, but it wasn’t so we reached the end of it and had to go back trough the same path.
We then left the Sequoia National Park towards Death Valley, but it was 15:00 when we left the sequoias and getting to Death Valley was around 7hours, reason why we decided to sleep on our way in Ridgecrest town in a Super 8 hotel, so we ended up driving 5 hours from Sequoia Park to Ridgecrest (65$ per room, breakfast included but really basic).
Next post: “Day 9: Death Valley”
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